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Archive By Author - Michele Hester


Official: Delinquent motel taxes remain unpaid

Dawson County officials say a local motel owner still owes several thousand dollars in back taxes despite management's claims that most of the debt has been paid.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Comfort Inn on Beartooth Parkway was nearly $10,000 behind in hotel/motel taxes, according to Kaye Molden, the county's senior accountant.

May 30, 2012 | Michele Hester | BUSINESS


Local man sentenced in vehicular homicide case

A Dawsonville man convicted of vehicular homicide in February received a 10-year sentence for the 2010 incident that claimed the life of a 24-year-old Gainesville woman.

According to authorities, Colon Louis Hartzler, 45, was driving under the influence of alcohol on June 25, 2010, when passenger Jenna Fitzgerald fell from his Jeep and was struck by a minivan on Ga. 400.

May 30, 2012 | Michele Hester | CRIME/COURTS


Childcare center closing

A local childcare center is closing its doors on Friday.

"It's been a wonderful 12 years. This has become an extension of our family," said Barry Slaton, who with his father, Roger, opened Dawson Learning Center in August 2000.

May 30, 2012 | Michele Hester | BUSINESS


Hopefuls qualify for elections

Qualifying for the local and state elections ended with at least one surprise in Dawson County.

Former District 2 County Commissioner Mike Connor decided to challenge incumbent Mike Berg for commission chairman.

May 30, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


Voting center named for former election chairwoman

Friends and family gathered Thursday at the Dawson County board of elections office to pay tribute to the board's former chairwoman.

Jeannine McGee thought she was attending an end of the year ceremony for her grandson, but later found out the party was being held in her honor.

May 30, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


Battery recycling offered locally

Battery recycling soon will be available free of charge at the Dawson County Transfer Station.

Beginning June 4, county residents can dispose of single-use batteries that will be recycled to keep hazardous materials such as mercury, lead, cadmium and nickel out of landfills.

May 30, 2012 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


High court dismisses appeal

Georgia's highest court has dismissed appeals filed by a local couple against the city of Dawsonville over a motorsports park in western Dawson County.

According to Tuesday's unanimous opinion written by Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias, West and Helen Hamryka failed to follow the correct procedure when filing their appeals.

May 29, 2012 | Michele Hester | CRIME/COURTS


Qualifying runs through Friday

Candidates seeking local and state office have until Friday to qualify for the July 31 General Primary.

Qualifying began this morning and runs until noon Dawson County and state offices.

May 23, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


‘I’m a survivor’

Gwen Hyde embraces the term survivor.

"I'm a survivor, and I thank God every day for that," she said. "I'm cancer free and boy am I proud of that."

May 23, 2012 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


Back tax gap narrows

Days after Dawson County commissioners voted to take legal action against a local hotel, officials with the business said Monday the majority of overdue taxes has been paid.

"We're now up to date except for April's taxes," said Shelby Harris, general manager of the Comfort Inn in Dawsonville. "At this point, April, which was due on the 20th, is the only month that is outstanding."

May 23, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


Pool Room closed

The future of a landmark Dawson County eatery lies in the balance after the Georgia Department of Revenue seized the Dawsonville Pool Room at lunchtime May 9.

According to a notice posted on the front door of the downtown restaurant, the seizure stems from nearly $84,000 in unpaid taxes and fees.

May 16, 2012 | Michele Hester | BUSINESS


Community rallies for business owner

It could be weeks, if not months, before the historic Dawsonville Pool Room reopens as its owner works with the state to resolve tax issues.

In the meantime, the local community is rallying to bring back its favorite eatery as soon as possible in support of Gordon Pirkle and his dedication to Dawsonville.

May 16, 2012 | Michele Hester | LOCAL


Longtime chamber president to retire

The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce is preparing for a leadership transition after its top two officials announced plans to retire.

Longtime president Linda Williams and husband Marty Williams, vice president of travel and tourism, said last week they will step down together July 6.

May 16, 2012 | Michele Hester | BUSINESS


Townley announces re-election campaign

Dawson County's tax commissioner has announced she will seek re-election in the July 31 primary.

Linda Townley is the second candidate to say she'll campaign for the seat. In April, political newcomer Karin McKee said she would run.

May 16, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


Commission chair says county in ‘good shape’

Sales tax revenue is up, there are no talks of furlough days and commissioners aren't planning a millage increase for 2013.

"We're in pretty good shape," Dawson County Commission Chair Mike Berg said last week.

May 16, 2012 | Michele Hester | Government


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